4 Places a Manufacturing ERP Yields ROI

Return on investment, or ROI, is a crucial consideration when manufacturers invest in a new machine, employee, or process. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is no different.


An ERP system makes manufacturing operations more efficient. Every manufacturer asks 3 questions when they’re considering Jobman as their ERP system:


1.     What returns can I expect for my investment?

2.     When will they come?

3.     What is the scale of that ROI?


All great questions. So let’s share what we’ve learned about ROI to help you justify investing in a manufacturing ERP. 

1. Inventory management

Inventory tracking eats up an enormous amount of resources, especially with a stock monitoring system disconnected from the rest of the operation.


Integrating inventory management into an ERP system has several bottom-line benefits:

Some benefits are almost immediate – reducing labour hours and cleaning up stock spreadsheets, for example. Others, like streamlined re-ordering, add up to huge savings over the medium and long term.

2. Financial management

Manufacturing is complex. Even with a great financial accounting system, you’re still faced with front-end challenges like settling finished jobs, paying suppliers, tracking employee hours, forecasting to make growth decisions.


An ERP system links those data sources, providing an accurate overview and easy financial management. 

And because Jobman integrates with Xero, you can automate many tedious tasks that delay payment. Depending on the complexity of your business, the benefits can be immediate – untangling the financial web, for example – as well as longer term with reduced labour and modernised accounting. 

3. Supply Chain Optimisation

Supply chain disruptions can be devastating for manufacturers. Delays in receiving materials cause a ripple effect that can quickly lead to lost business, overtime hours and mismanaged inventory.


ERP systems help you overcome these issues. The system provides data and automated insights so management can plan for disruptions and fluctuations across the supply chain.


From supplier costs to employee hours, automatic re-ordering to job status tracking, Jobman is specifically designed to put manufacturers in control of their business. Better data and business intelligence give your management team a strategic advantage in a competitive market. 

4. Sales Management

Furnishing your sales team with the information they need to manage accounts means better customer relationships. Better customer relationships grow your business.

ROI is a no-brainer here. Every interaction improves right away once you take ownership of customer data. Close more sales, get paid faster and present a more professional face to clients.

ROI in Action: Jobman for Manufacturers

Jobman is an ERP designed for the Australian manufacturing industry. To see how other cabinet making, joinery, shopfitting and manufacturing businesses have streamlined their operations and improved efficiency across the business, check out our testimonials.


Or you can contact us for a consultation and find out exactly where the Jobman manufacturing ERP system can provide many happy returns on your investment. 

Categories: ERP

Value-Added vs. Non-Value-Added Activities

In every manufacturing business – and indeed any company in any industry – there are two types of activity: value-adding and non-value-adding.

It’s an idea borrowed from Lean management methodology. Based on cutting out anything that doesn’t add value, lean thinking “trims the fat” by targeting non-contributing operations and actions.


Related: Are Lean principles useful for my small manufacturing operation?


But manufacturing is a complex business. It can be daunting to think about reviewing your operations to weed out the value-add opportunities. And how do you even define value across your operation?


Let’s look at Lean to identify those opportunities and Jobman to implement the changes.

First Things First: Defining Value

Ultimately your customers will decide whether what you do is worth paying for.


In end-product terms, it’s pretty clear cut. Does your customer think the product is worth paying for at the price you’re demanding?


But other value-add opportunities aren’t as obvious. These things might be important to your customers:

If the customer is willing to pay for it, it’s valuable. If they’re not prepared to pay a higher price, or you’re losing customers to your competition, your customers don’t see the value.

8 ways to waste value

Lean thinking defines non-value-adding activities as “waste”, and there are 8 types of activity here that you can look to cut out:


1.     Transportation costs

2.     Inefficient inventory

3.     Movement time

4.     Idle resources

5.     Underutilised potential (in people or machines)

6.     Overproduction

7.     Over-engineering

8.     Defects

These 8 activity types are found in surprising places. Overordering raw material can reduce storage space. Workers walking between stations – or worse, driving parts around the factory on a forklift – are often unnecessary transport costs or unproductive moving times.


For a detailed guide on getting started with lean manufacturing and to see how Jobman can help, check out our previous post here

Looking at your value opportunities

You’re looking for two things that can transform your bottom line:


  1. Value-adding opportunities
  2. Waste to eliminate


To do that properly either takes a lot of time or the right tools. Because your operation is complex and there are lots of people, processes and equipment in play at every stage, you need a clear picture of what’s going on at every level.


That’s where enterprise resource planning (ERP) software crosses over with value stream mapping.  

Value stream mapping in manufacturing

Value stream mapping breaks a process down into its component parts, with the 8 waste areas and 3 value-adding criteria. Using a made-for-manufacturing ERP like Jobman allows you to call up data on each of those processes to find latent value opportunities.

For example, you can monitor stock levels to find out what’s occupying valuable storage space and spot idle time when your machines could be used to complete another task.

We’ll go into value stream mapping more in a future post, but for now, just remember there is a formula for trimming the fat.

Jobman: where it all comes together

Yes, it takes some work to add value and eliminate waste. But the effort is well worth the rewards.

And with Jobman on your side providing easy access to all the decision-making data you need, the process is much easier than you might imagine.


See how Jobman improves manufacturing productivity or contact us to arrange a one-on-one consultation.

Categories: ERP

7 ERP Implementation Pitfalls to Avoid

Investing in ERP has the potential to turbo-charge your business and ensure the smooth running of daily operations. You might have spent weeks or months debating between which type of ERP to purchase, but implementation is where you can make or break your ERP initiative. Here are seven common mistakes that you want to avoid, so that you can successfully integrate your ERP system into your business operations.


1.   Ineffective Project Planning

Our first point is perhaps the most crucial. ERP is a complex process, and you need to understand how the implementation will work. If you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. You need to have a project plan to get the most from your ERP.  Without this baseline, your ERP will not serve the purpose your business requires.


2.   Neglecting to Gather Requirements

The purpose of ERP is to make your business operations more effective. You want to go beyond just automating your current processes and take a critical look at your operations while identifying specific issues and room for growth. If your business doesn’t have measurable goals in place to test the effectiveness of the ERP, your experiment will fail.


3.   Excluding Critical Users from The Process

Make sure all departments and employees are involved in the new ERP implementation process. All employees will be affected by the system and could offer insights you haven’t thought of.


There is a human element to your ERP you need to consider. Employees who will be working with the ERP system on a daily basis need to be fully trained to use the system correctly. Consider a formal training process with an attached “Questions and Concerns” meeting to address how your employees feel about the new system before launch.


4.   Forgetting to Prioritize User Experience

You want your ERP to utilized as much as possible, otherwise, why bother getting an ERP? If the user experience of your system is challenging, your employees won’t want to use it. With the seamless user experience of smartphones, tablets, and computers, if an ERP system is confusing, hard to learn, and hard to use, employees will get frustrated and annoyed.


5.   Not Considering Having an Industry Specific Solution

When you’re personalizing your ERP, you want to bring in industry-specific features more mainstream and traditional manufacturing companies might overlook. Shop around for your software provider and see if any specialists in your niche provide custom-tailored solutions.


6.   Not Providing Sufficient Internal Support

If you want your ERP to be successful, you need your employees to use it and buy into the software. While some people might take to the ERP like second nature, other employees may struggle with change. Ensure your management team is providing employees with ongoing support throughout the process. It’s a good idea to nominate someone to be the driving force behind your ERP implementation, someone who employees can turn to if they have questions.


7.   Neglecting Change Management

As you use your ERP, there’s going to time when changes need to be made. If you’ve just reached a nearly optimal process using the software, you might be resistant to change. Continuous improvement should be a focal point in the early stages of ERP implementation. Don’t get stuck saying “good enough.”



Categories: ERP

How Customizable Does My ERP Need To Be?

If you’re a small manufacturing firm with ambitious plans for future expansion, you’re likely considering custom ERP to make your daily operations more effective. When you’re investing in an ERP system, you might be debating how customized you want it to be. Proprietary ERP can be suitable for some manufacturers, but it gives you limited scope for personalizing the software to fit your individual needs.

When You Might Need a Custom ERP

Let’s take a step back.


ERP is an enterprise resource planning tool. This piece of software allows you to manage the day-to-day operations of your business, including things like accounting, project management, and supply chains. Your software is also likely to include enterprise performance management (ERM), which allows you to plan for the future through budgets and predictions, along with reporting your finances.


Only around 3 per cent of businesses decide to go with a custom ERP. Most of these companies have found the best-fit and are trying to make it work. You might decide you want to invest in a custom ERP because the out-of-the-box system won’t provide you with the real-time information you need to operate your business.


Most conversations around custom ERP focus on ‘future-proofing’ your business. If you’re a business with your sights set on expansion, you will want to invest in a more customized ERP. It allows for the core to be continuously updated to handle more users and increased traffic. The ERP at the center can remain intact, with the SDK making the necessary add-ons to the software.

Why Jobman Are the Industry Leaders

At Jobman, our mission is to facilitate an end-to-end solution for your manufacturing business from the initial point of contact to the delivery. Our ERP solution allows you to deliver on-time and on-budget, keeping you in control of your project at all times.


We’ve developed our ERP system from the manufacturer’s perspective, considering the daily challenges you’ll face while running your business and where traditional ERP processes are lacking.


Our browser-based ERP is made by manufacturers for manufacturers.


Are you debating whether you want an out-of-the-box ERP or if you want to customize it? While most companies choose to go with a standard EPR, customization can help to future-proof your business. If you know there are specific data that you want to gather to help with the daily running of your business; you’ll want some level of personalization to your ERP. Jobman can help.



Categories: ERP

Are Lean Principles Useful for My Small Manufacturing Operation?

There is a common misconception that lean manufacturing is for larger organizations that have a complex manufacturing process. In reality, lean manufacturing can also work for smaller businesses. Companies of all sizes face the same challenges with growing their products or services. You can easily apply the lean principles to a small manufacturing business to improve your daily operations.


When implemented correctly, SMEs can benefit from lean manufacturing in the following ways:

  • Increased profits.
  • Decreased costs.
  • Efficiency gains.
  • Long-term growth.


Any small manufacturing enterprise could increase its bottom line and business outlook with these measurable benefits. Let’s take a deeper dive:


What Are Lean Principles?

Lean principles came out of the world of manufacturing, but they have long since gone mainstream. There are five key components to the lean principles:

Define Value

Understanding the value you give to your customers should determine how you should be pricing your manufacturing product.

Map Value Stream

You take the customer’s value and use it to identify what contributes to the values. If you’re doing something that doesn’t add value to the customer, it’s considered wasteful.

Create a Flow

Allow your business operations to run smoothly by removing waste and letting your business run without any delays.

Establish Pull

Develop just-in-time delivery chains where your product is always ready on the delivery date.

Pursue Perfection

Everyone in your business should be working towards the idea of perfection and producing products that meet your customer’s needs.


Where Should SMEs Focus?

Lean principles you can apply to your small business focus on working toward the future. They involve defining priorities and brainstorming ideas across your team about the best ways to solve problems.


You can use lean principles to reduce waste and promote continuous improvement in your business. This principle could be as simple as making sure you’re recycling your paper to controlling your inventory to prevent dead stock.


You can better focus and pay attention to your business processes and daily operations with lean principles. Lean allows you to critically analyze how you run your business and question whether there are more effective workflow methods you could be using. Lean principles encourage cross-departmental communication to improve upon general business operations.


How You Can Apply Lean Principles to Your Business

Lean calls for a culture focused on continuous improvement. It’s recommended that you spend 10 per cent of your time focusing on ways to improve your business. Your continuous improvement could focus on building your marketing, designing new products, or training staff.


As touched on above, the best ways to begin implementing lean principles into your business include:


  • Eliminating waste.
  • Ensuring products have been quality-tested.
  • Soliciting customer feedback.
  • Reaching out to suppliers.
  • Shortening production cycles.
  • Speeding up response time.
  • Reducing unnecessary inventory.
  • Extending employee autonomy.


Additionally, consider splitting up decision-making burdens across upper management. If one person makes the majority of decisions regarding manufacturing, inventory, and distribution processes, consider balancing task workflow.



Categories: ERP

7 Effective Ways of Reducing Inventory Levels


Bringing inventory control measures into your manufacturing business can help you control your liabilities and provide a safety net for your profit margin. Holding stock can be costly, especially if it’s not likely to sell quickly. Here are seven simple but effective ways that you can reduce your inventory levels.


1.   Maintain Accurate Inventory Records

The first thing you should do is to ensure you are maintaining accurate inventory records. If you don’t know what you have, you’ll have no idea what is coming in or out. You should be utilizing your ERP system to keep track of your inventory, as well as orders for suppliers. These records will form the backbone of your inventory control planning.


2.   Establish Real-Time Reporting

You want your ERP system to have an inventory tracker, allowing you to monitor things like sales, purchase plans, and product forecasting. Real-time reporting is essential to give you a snapshot of what is happening at the moment. Handwritten notes are likely to become outdated quickly, which can cause incorrect supply order placements.


3.   Automate Processes

To make these first two methods more realistic, you want to make your inventory control measures as automated as possible. An automated process will help boost your efficiency levels and reduce manual errors.


4.   Stock Classification

Eighty per cent of revenue comes from 20 per cent of your stock. Here is where the ABC stock classification comes in. It promotes inventory control by classifying items into three groups, determined by business value.


A is the most valuable, while C is the least. This inventory control method focuses on prioritising the stock quantity of A items over B and C. To do this, you’ll have to work closely with your key suppliers and closely monitor your trend forecasting.


5.   Reduce Supplier Lead Time

Your supplier lead time has a knock-on effect on your inventory control. The pandemic has shown us how fragile lead times can be, as supply chains are vulnerable to fluctuations and travel restrictions.


The key to reducing your supplier lead time is to track your inventory supply and adjust your safety stock. This way, you never risk running out of essential pieces of inventory. Developing faster lead times with your suppliers can give you more flexibility for your inventory control.


6.   Eliminate And Avoid Obsolete Inventory

The last thing you want is for there to be obsolete inventory sitting in your stock room. To eliminate the risk of obsolete inventory or deadstock, you’ll need to know where a product is in its life cycle. As items start to decline in popularity, you can bring in sales tactics like promotions to help move the stock. You can also pinpoint when to reduce your reordering of the product.


7.   Just-In-Time Scheduling

In an ideal world, your inventory would go in one door and out the other. The just-in-time schedule means that your stock arrives just as it’s due. This inventory stock method focuses on reducing waste by controlling deliveries. Just-in-time scheduling relies on a staple chain with reliable suppliers.


Categories: ERP

The 5-Step Continuous Improvement Cycle

There’s a great way to visualize how the 5-step continuous improvement cycle works within a business.


In basketball, there can only be five players on the court for each team at any given time. The goal of basketball is to utilize each team member’s strengths in a way that maximizes the team’s chance to win.

The key to success is working well together and repeatedly working on successful basketball processes as defined by the coach. As the team spends more time together, chemistry forms between them. Soon, the team is a well-oiled machine winning game after game.


The same is true for businesses. If they want to grow and make money, that is.

The 5-step continuous improvement cycle

Implementing a cycle as intense at the 5-step continuous improvement cycle isn’t easy. This improvement cycle can be advantageous for businesses that stick with the journey and practice dedication and patience.

Let’s break it down:

1. Define

  • Identify the target process
  • Organize and empower an improvement team
  • Describe the issues, concerns or opportunity
  • Collect current performance data
  • Create a process map

2. Identify

  • Identify the process customers and suppliers
  • Define the process inputs and outputs
  • Define the process requirements
  • Identify wastes
  • Identify value-added activities
  • Generate a list of potential improvements

3. Select

  • Establish desired performance goals
  • Prioritize the potential solutions
  • Establish the selection criteria
  • Select the best solution(s)
  • Define the desired process

4. Implement

  • Develop an action plan to achieve the goals
  • Develop process performance metrics
  • Document the solution(s)
  • Test the changes
  • Implement the action plan

5. Evaluate

  • Establish ongoing feedback
  • Measure progress per the action plan
  • Compare results with desired performance goals
  • Determine corrective actions that need to be taken
  • Repeat the cycle to define new opportunities


On most basketball teams, there is usually a star player. Perhaps the most crucial step of the 5-step continuous improvement cycle (star player of the team), is the last step – Evaluation. This is when you and your team take everything you’ve learned throughout the cycle and go back to the very beginning. You’re able to make slight improvements or find new opportunities.


It’s called continuous improvement for a reason. Too often businesses declare victory when a successful change is complete. They then wait for the status quo to change in their favour instead of remaining innovative and on the cutting-edge.


Continue to use this cycle, and employees throughout your businesses will embrace the new normal and the organization will embrace the continuous improvement culture and mindset. Chemistry will begin to develop throughout your company and will provide an edge against your competitors.


Businesses can use this 5-step process to accomplish various tasks, from short-term goals to more extended assignments. Your business can implement the cycle structure across departments for better communication, better efficiency, and better teamwork. In turn, your business will be able to improve all processes throughout the business continuously.


Categories: ERP

What Does True Business Integration After ERP Look Like?

You invested in your business’ future and brought an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system into the fold. You did the research, applied the resources, and did the work. So, was your ERP project the success you expected? There are many ways to gauge the effectiveness of ERP implementation.

Perhaps the best way to test your ERP’s effectiveness is the level of business integration you’ve achieved. Or in other words, finding out how seamlessly your new system integrates, connects, and fits into your business or organization. Here’s what you can expect to experience with true business integration after ERP:

Alignment of people, processes, and technology

A good ERP effectively aligns people, processes, and technology by making data readily available. In turn, this limits wasted time, manual processes, and human error.

By investing in an ERP, you allow your employees more time to focus on new initiatives while automating processes with the implementation of state-of-the-art technology. At a basic level, ERP allows everyone within your business to be on the same page. It’s a technology that’s able to support your business goals.

You can deliver on order promises

ERP systems enable companies to deliver their products in a more dependable, reliable, and timely manner by effectively planning their resources company-wide.

Here’s an excellent way to know if your ERP system is integrated into your business processes: You offer earlier delivery times and meet them.

Perhaps you’ve also achieved visibility into every step of your supply chain and have constant contact with all your suppliers. That’s another good sign of ERP integration.

Inventory levels are accurate

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that proper inventory levels are good. You lower costs, increase order fulfilment rates, and see happier customers. Businesses often get flustered and frustrated by the inability to access information they need quickly. With an ERP, however, data becomes centralized and communication becomes effortless. That’s the power of business integration.

If your business is seeing an uptick in inventory record accuracy or can quickly conduct a root cause analysis to understand what happened and how to fix the issue moving forward, you’re already reaping the benefits of your ERP and have achieved an enhanced level of business integration.

Inventory levels are balanced

A great sign of business integration is a balanced inventory. Businesses worldwide struggle with correct inventory levels, and if your inventory is balanced (neither too low nor too high for demand), you’ve likely already integrated your business.

When employees adopt new business processes due to increased amounts of readily-available information, organizational silos disappear and data flows between departments and functional areas more smoothly. In turn, this ensures accurate demand forecasts and bills of material, lowering inventory excess and overhead.

Reporting is simple and automated

Reporting and data consumption are critical to any digital strategy, especially when a business transforms from a paper-based business into a paperless or cloud-based system. If your business’ reporting functions are automated and straightforward, your business is integrated.

Categories: ERP

Inventory Management Best Practices

Any small – to mid-size business with growth potential can tell you that efficient and effective inventory management is crucial to success. Inventory that doesn’t turn over quickly takes up valuable space, increases overhead, and may become obsolete over time. That’s why it’s critical to adhere to inventory management best practices.

Check out these six best practices that will better your inventory management.

Stop using manual processes

The most common barrier to accurate inventory management is continued reliance on outdated and archaic manual processes, such as paper spreadsheets for inventory tracking. If your business is still using paper and manual processes for crucial aspects of your business, it may be time to invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

An ERP system allows you to centralize your business data across departments, so there’s never a risk of losing important information.

Strive for optimal stock levels at all times & optimize inventory turnover rates

You can think of an optimal stock level as one that maintains just enough materials to keep production lines running at full capacity and enough finished product to satisfy current demand. Following this principle allows your business to keep costs at a minimum, free up cash flow, maximize sales revenue, and deliver products on time, every time.

Track inventory through the supply chain

It’s critical that you know exactly how much inventory you have, when, and where. Even if it’s not in your own warehouse, your business needs to take responsibility for your inventory. Focus on gathering real-time data to accurately track inventory across multiple locations.

Does this seem overwhelming? Maybe it’s time to get all your business’ pertinent information centralized in an easy-to-use ERP system.

Automation is key

Could your business benefit from increased visibility, reduced human error, and an uptick of process efficiency? Of course, it could. One of the best ways to immediately improve in these three business areas is by automating your inventory management processes.

How much time do you waste every quarter with manual processes? You’ll increase efficiency by using electronic data interchange (EDI) to connect to suppliers; and RFID, barcoding, and license plating for warehouse picking and accurate tracking.

Use batch tracking

Consider using an automatic batch tracking system to quickly enter information about products within a batch (or a particular set of goods produced together with the same raw materials). Keeping this information readily available is key in case of a product recall.

Batch tracking is also referred to as lot tracking, and it’s a process for efficiently tracing goods along a distribution chain.

Establish your inventory KPIs

Key performance indicators are crucial to the overall measurement of your business’ productivity and efficiency. By establishing and keeping track of your inventory KPIs, you’ll be able to set goals and improve on them quarter after quarter.

Categories: ERP

How to Get Started with Lean Manufacturing

Implementing lean manufacturing means minimizing waste through robust and efficient business processes while developing skills to solve problems and standardizing everyday tasks. These factors should be at the forefront of your mind as your business begins to scale and grow.


Businesses often have minimal resources to focus on lean manufacturing. Instead opting to zero in on development, product perfection, marketing, and sales. Formal business processes fly out the window and employees wear many hats and fulfil multiple functions. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to familiarize yourself with lean manufacturing.


At first, you might be overwhelmed with the number of concepts, tools, processes, and principles thrown at you. However, lean manufacturing doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated. Lean manufacturing processes are loosely based on three basic principles:

Training and buy-in from management and employees

Just like anything in people’s lives, change is met with skepticism and pushback. It’s easy to persuade and convince certain people that change can be useful, and very hard to do the same to others. Change can be celebrated by:

Eliminate the 7 Wastes

There are seven types of manufacturing waste that add no value for your business or the customer. Reviewing, identifying, and eliminating these types of waste in your organization is a central idea of lean manufacturing principles.

1. Transportation

No value is added when items move from one location to the next — shortening distance and travel time decreases lead times.

2. Inventory

Excess inventory takes up storage space, which is an increased cost. Inventory can get damaged and needs to be reduced or eliminated where possible in the production process. This includes everything from finished goods, raw materials and subassemblies.


To limit inventory, your business needs to maintain computer-based inventory records and set up a regular counting program to confirm the data. Without accurate records, you won’t be able to eliminate excess inventory. 

3. Motion

Consider for a moment how much time is wasted moving. Walking, bending, lifting, reaching, and other types of movements take time. Figure out how to eliminate the need for so much movement. Some examples include:

4. Waiting

Waiting is one of the most challenging processes to identify and eliminate. Often, waiting is caused in part by inventory shortages. Which can be assessed and avoided by thorough inventory control.


Machinery breakdowns also increase worker wait time and can be fixed through the implementation of regularly scheduled maintenance programs.

5. Overproduction

Overproduction is harmful for many reasons. It costs resources without delivering value and creates excess inventory (as outlined above). Make sure you pace production with consumer demand. Employees may be better utilised on other tasks such as continuous improvement when demand is low.

7. Defects

Defects are products that do not meet spec and cannot be used in sales. These are often the cause of non-standardized operations, incorrect assembly, inadequate equipment, or poorly trained operators. Fix defects by:

The earlier in the production process a defect is identified the higher the likelihood future errors can be avoided. 

The Continuous Improvement Cycle

Continuous improvement is the constant effort to improve products, services, and processes. The 5-step continuous improvement cycle includes:


1. Define

2. Identify

3. Select

4. Implement

5. Evaluate

Through this 5-step plan, continuous improvement seeks incremental improvement in business processes over time. The plan aims to increase flexibility, business operations, efficiency, and effectiveness.


By focusing on continuous improvement business principles, lean manufacturing comes naturally. The two concepts work hand-in-hand. The last of the continuous improvement stages, evaluate, allows businesses to identify areas from improvement and build upon their existing processes.

Categories: ERP